NEW YORK - Post-game analysis of the Capitals’ wild 4-3 overtime win over the New York Rangers Saturday afternoon at Madison Square Garden:
How it happened: Nicklas Backstrom tied the score with 5.7 seconds remaining in regulation and Alex Ovechkin won it 1:25 into overtime with his second goal of the game, breezing past Rick Nash and muscling a shot through defenseman Ryan McDonagh and goalie Henrik Lundqvist to give the Caps their third straight win. Justin Williams also scored for the Caps in the second period. The Caps had a 2-0 lead heading into the third period. But the Rangers rallied with three goals on their first seven shots of the third period -- one each by Oscar Lindberg, Kevin Hayes and Viktor Stalberg. That led to Backstrom’s last seconds heroics
What it means: The Caps are now 22-0-1 after leading through two periods. They have won three straight and improved their league-leading record to 31-7-3 for 65 points. It is the best first half they’ve had in their 42-year history and are on pace 130 points, nine more than their last Presidents’ Trophy season in 2009-10.
Ovi one away: Alex Ovechkin received a gift of a goal with 15 seconds remaining in the opening period when Dan Girardi’s pass intended for Dominic Moore landed on his stick for an easy put back, giving him 498 NHL goals in 800 NHL games. He made it 499 with a mad rush in overtime.
Schmidtuation: Just before Ovechkin’s goal, Derek Stepan had a chance to win it, but a combined stop by Braden Holtby and Nate Schmidt thwarted his rebound attempt.
Look ahead: The Caps are right back in action Sunday night when they return home to face the Ottawa Senators (6:30 p.m. pregame, CSN). They will follow with three days between games, leading up to Thursday’s home game against the Vancouver Canucks.